May 27 2011
Sophy Roberts chooses her three favourite places in the world. First: Vietnam.
The Metropole Hanoi (www.sofitel.com; from £140) sits on the fringe of the city’s historic French quarter (where the street food is at its best). Staffed by bellboys in pillbox hats and girls in traditional cream Ao Dai dress, it feels entirely authentic. The bar and pool are literally and metaphorically the heart of the hotel. It’s buzzing, yet doesn’t appear to be dominated by one particular nationality, lending it an eclectic, seductive ambience that far outweighs the issues one might have with service – a waiter not noticing you, a queue to check out. And it’s a grand address delivering the experience at exceptional value; that’s what’s worthy of respect.